Smoke and mirrors in Arnhem Land: What expeditions tell us about the materiality of crosscultural encounters

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Title: Smoke and mirrors in Arnhem Land: What expeditions tell us about the materiality of crosscultural encounters
Authors: Thomas, Martin
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Date: 9-Dec-2019
Online since: 2020-08-17T15:36:35Z
Abstract: By paying attention to the familiar, but under-scrutinized, socio-cultural formation that is an expedition, it is possible to understand better the materiality of anthropological research and of intercultural encounters more generally. A close reading of the 1948 American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land, in northern Australia, is contextualized by a set of broader observations concerning the history of expeditions and their significance to science, anthropology, and geographical exploration. The essay addresses the role of expeditions in distributing trade goods, paying special attention to the distribution of tobacco and its implications. The supply of drugs such as tobacco provides insight into the bio-chemical engagement with the human body that underlay the project of bringing science to an inhabited terrain.
metadata.dc.description.othersponsorship: Australian Research Council
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Journal: History and Anthropology
Copyright (published version): 2019 the Author
Keywords: ExpeditionsExplorationArnhem LandMuseum anthropologyCultural brokerageTobacco
DOI: 10.1080/02757206.2019.1695201
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:History Research Collection

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